AKO Army Knowledge

By the Spring of 1942 the German offensives across Europe had been incredibly successful, despite the failure to defeat the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Hitler, however, wanted to defeat the Soviets soon in order to be able to relocate forces for the expected US attack and to secure the oil fields in the Caucasus.

Stalin, expecting a large German offensive during the summer, gave orders for all who were able to be sent into combat and that anyone retreating without direct orders would be subject to strict military discipline. During Germany's Case Blue offensive in June and July, preparations began in Stalingrad for a massive battle. Most of the food and factories were removed from the city, with the exception of factories manufacturing T-34 tanks.

Germans began the Battle of Stalingrad on August 23 with heavy aerial bombardment of the city and doing heavy damage to the Soviet air force. The Soviets resisted tenaciously, and in order to counter the Germans superior air and artillery support they would fight as close as possible to the German infantry, forcing them to fight on their own or take casualties from their own supporting fire. The Soviets converted apartment and factory buildings into fortresses, and artillery across the Volga turned buildings into rubble, blocking German Panzer advances.

This assault on the city left the German flanks exposed, however, and during a Soviet counterattack on November 19, 1942 the Soviets broke through the German lines both north and south of Stalingrad, and within two days had encircled the 245,000 German soldiers of the Sixth Army. Hitler ordered that no German soldiers surrender and that the Luftwaffe supply the surrounded soldiers by air - a task that was hopelessly impossible for the small number of transport and bomber aircraft in the area.

On February 2, 1943 starved and out of ammunition the Germans surrendered to the advancing Soviets. Only 91,000 of the original 245,000 were still alive and the entire battle had cost both sides in excess of 1.7-2 million casualties, and was a turning point against the German forces.

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The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) determines if you are eligible to join and what jobs you qualify for. Click the image to read more about the ASVAB and test your knowledge with the two practice tests.

Catch up on the latest Army-related news stories. Become informed on developments in benefits. Find jokes to tickle your funny bone. And read survival tips from the US Army Survival Manual. Our bloggers' posts are collected here.

Discover all of the jobs or MOSs (military occupational specialties) available in the US Army by clicking the above image. You can see a sorted list of jobs from infantryman to intelligence to mechanic.

When you join the US Army, what are the various locations you could be stationed? Click the image to see how others have rated the installations and some knowledge online that may make your move there more enjoyable.

Learn when and how to wear the camouflaged Army Combat Uniform or the dressy blue Army Service Uniform, as well as approved hair, tattoos, jewelry, and other aspects of your appearance by clicking the above image.

Don't be the poor guy at boot camp that salutes a sergeant or casually walks up to a captain. Click the above image to take a look at all of the enlisted, warrant officer, and officer ranks and memorize them.

The US Armed Forces uses a phonetic alphabet to help when communicating. It will prove to make your life better than "OK." In fact, if you click the above image and memorize this system, you'll find life to be "Oscar Kilo."

Save yourself some push-ups from your drill sergeant at basic training by clicking the above image to read and memorize the Seven Core Army Values (LDRSHIP), General Orders to all soldiers, and the Soldier's Creed.

Going to college? ROTC can help pay for your education, give you excellent military skills and knowledge training, and direct you into an officer position after graduation. Visit the ROTC section by clicking the above image.

Learn more about serving in the US Army Reserves. Find out the duty requirements, length of enlistment, and other information by clicking the image to go to the Reserves section of Army.com.

If being an infantryman isn't dangerous enough for you, maybe you would be more interested in serving in Special Forces. Read online about what it takes to join the Green Berets or become a Ranger by clicking the image.
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